Looking back on our elderly study tour to Japan

With a group of Dutch care professionals we want to share what we learned about the Japanese elderly care and secret of the centenarians. We had variety of experiences in bustling Tokyo, beautiful Kyoto and serene Ogimi, which is called the blue zone of Okinawa.

Keys to healthy ageing

During our visits to medical clinics, nursing homes, day care centres and communities, one common thread emerged: the keys to healthy ageing.
They are: natural exercise, nutritious plantbased food, green surroundings, socialising and waking up every day with a purpose in mind – Ikigai.

We had conversations with Japanese elderly about what mattered to them and the importance of a healthy living environment when you become vulnerable and how elderly in Japan stay active also after retirement and stay out of the hospital as much as possible.

Each venue underlined the importance of these elements in promoting vitality in later life. We were privileged to witness first-hand the impact of incorporating these principles into everyday life.
Staying two days in the house of an 89 year old man and 82 year old woman with a handicapped son, in Ogimi, was a unique experience.


Highlights of our trip

  • To feel – modesty, the simplicity, the meaningfulness, the hospitality, the living with the nature, the importance of the community, of connection and making music together was an unforgettable experience.
  • Being with a group of passionate individuals, each seeking inspiration on ageing, healthcare and well-being in Japan, the world’s most elderly society.
  • Broadening our perspectives proved immensely enlightening and provided fertile ground for fresh ideas.
  • Embracing alternative visions of ageing and living together, drawing inspiration from the wisdom and experience of older people.
  • Reablement, Positive Health, Personalized healthcare, it is all based on the principles of stimulating own choices, self management, resilience and empowerment of the people. One of the Japanese centenarians quoted: ‘we don’t do anything special, we just live‘.

Study tour and Expo 2025

We are delighted to announce that, together with Corine van Maar, we will co-organise a new study tour in 2025 and visiting the Guinée – Expo2025 in Osaka. Interested in joining us? Let us know and we will keep you posted on the details.


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